Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dream Collection

SAQA's annual Benefit Auction starts on online on 15 September, the auction is a major fundraiser for SAQA.  All the 12" x 12" auction quilts appear here.   

This year my entry is 'Kikorangi Kowhaiwhai', I posted here about how I created it.

SAQA are also displaying Dream Collections, these are groups of six quilts that people have chosen. This is my collection that I've called 'Colours of the Pacific'.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Off on a Journey

Off on a journey - not me but my quilt 'Knit One, Paint One'.  

Folded with long rolls of rolled up tissue paper for padding then in a clear plastic bag, finally wrapped in bubble wrap popped in a box (following SAQA's packing instructions). It has started a long-haul journey to the US for SAQA's 'Redirecting the Ordinary Exhibition'.

Since the quilt is going to be in the box for the week or so that the journey takes (and possibly longer as the exhibition is later this year) I was keen to make sure that it arrived in the best condition.  As the quilt is wider than the box it needed to be folded and not just rolled. 

I did a couple of trial foldings to see whether or not the folds remained once the quilt was unfolded. I left it rolled/folded overnight, the next day opened it up and it was fine.  Using the rolled up tissue seemed to help keep the folds rounded and not crisp folds - if that makes sense.

After posting the box I arrived home to find this in the mail ...
Exhibition book

The book produced for the exhibition, each quilt has a double spread with the full photo, a closeup photo and the details of each quilt.

Hopefully the box arrives safely in the US. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mini Break

We've just spent a few days in New Plymouth, as it is the school holidays.  It also meant I was able to attend Aotearoa Quilters AGM and the opening of their 'Growth' exhibition.

The Growth exhibition is currently showing at the Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford.  Its a great space, with a pleasant cafe - Sgt Peppers that served excellent coffee. 

The judges were two locals, artist John McLean and quilter Dorothy Smith.   

The quilt on the left was awarded Best in Show - 'Mother Earth' by Kathleen Burford.  The other two quilts are 'Increasingly Modern' by me and the quilt on the right is 'Algae Blooms' by Mary Transom.  

I do like the two below - these received merit awards.

'An Abundance of Gum Blossums' by Jennifer Patterson

'Darling Buds of May' by Natalie Murdoch
'Waste and Renewal' by Fyvie Murray

I just had to include a photo of Fyvie's quilt, as I've watched her creating it and its a great quilt. The circles are all sewn in - there is no applique! It was awarded a Judges Choice prize.

The lighting in the gallery just made the silk shine and also the little bits of blue in the strips just pop.

The 20 quilts that form the 'Growth' exhibition can be viewed here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Star or two (and a few more)

Last week was my guild's monthly meeting and I posted here about the block of the month, where if you make the block you have a chance to win all the entered blocks. For the first time I won the blocks - almost 30 in total.

I came home and arranged them on the floor and my helper decided they needed a bit of rearranging!

I may sew them together or add some extra fabric around each block - while most of the blocks are a similar size there are some that vary some what!  

These will probably sit on my shelf for awhile as I have a few other projects on the go.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Increasingly Modern

Aotearoa Quilters has a travelling exhibition called 'Growth', entries were due by 1 July.  My quilt 'Increasingly Modern' has been selected along with 19 other quilts.  Its first showing is at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford (Taranaki).

Increasingly Modern
At first I struggled with this challenge as I couldn't get past kids growth charts!  The quilt was a bit of a last minute effort, I had been looking through some photos and came across my quilt, 'Painted Chocolate Blocks'.

Painted Chocolate Blocks

That sparked the idea of using the same technique to some how (!!) create a quilt representing growth.  I eventually decided to represent, as a graph, the growth of modern quilting.


I drew a diagram to work out the layout, there is even a bit of Fibonacci series in the sizing of the squares.

The shapes are painted using freezer paper stencils and Pebeo Textile shimmer paint - the glittery ones.
painting in progress
Then the quilting, this was a slow process.

I quilted around each painted block in a similar colour - the advantage with this is if there are any imperfections in the painted line the stitching sort of blends it out and the eye only sees (hopefully) the straightness of the stitched line.  

I mostly used my current favourite thread - Madeira Polyneon.  I've found I can't finished off the threads using the machine either with its knotting off stitch or several small stitches together.  It leaves either a noticeable blip of threads or they unravel - mainly a problem with these shiny polyester threads.
quilting and all those threads

I start by pulling the threads to the top when I start and finish each piece of quilting.  Then threading to the back and burying the threads later.  I tend to do some quilting then threading off and a bit more quilting, etc.  instead of leaving the whole lot to the end.   

As I quilt (and thread threads in) I often listen to podcasts on my iPad - one I'm following is Charlotte Scott's click here to listen.

For the white quilted area I wanted a wonky look that matched the painted squares.  While the blocks may be wonky they need to be vaguely straight.  To help with the 'straightness' I tacked horizontal lines and then quilted the squares mostly within these lines.  When I'd nearly reached the top I did check that the top row of blocks would line up with what would be the top edge of the quilt.  
angled closeup


The purple line is a piece of ribbon, hand stitched then machine stitched.

And somehow more purple is creeping into my work!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Some local bloggers

One of the great things about reading blogs is the varied locations the writers come from. 

Over time I've found a number of Wellington quilting/textile related blogs and thought I'd share them here:  
Adrianne is an enthusiastic quilter with very interesting and thoughtful posts    
While June covers quilting she also has the most amazing photos, a lot from the Wellington area and elsewhere in New Zealand.    
Leimomi is passionate about historical costuming.  I've been to a couple of her talks/presentations and she is fantastic as are her costumes.   
Local quilt shop with interesting fabric, especially Japanese.     

There are others that I haven't included as either they infrequently post or seem to have stopped posting.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Star or two

I'm dithering over some quilting - both pieces might be for my guild's exhibition in September.  One is for a portrait challenge - it is a young child's face that I painted with thickened Procion dyes in a class with Hollis Chatelain ~3 years ago.  I'm aiming to quilt it similar to how Hollis quilts her faces - I've looked at it numerous times and always gone eek and put it away again.  

The second piece is my snowball quilt (see here), I might just end up doing straight lines but I really want to do something more - and that's the problem I can't decide what.  The challenge quilt is due early August and other entries later in August.

So instead of focusing on the portrait quilting I've been doing something quick and different.

My guild has a block of the month where at the monthly meeting someone presents a block for that month, you make a block (or more) bring it along to the next meeting and enter the draw to win all the blocks.  

When I first joined the guild someone suggested that making the blocks would be good practice on piecing, so I made them and sometimes entered them in the draw (only if they were the right size and looked ok).  Lately I've been more selective and only make the ones that appeal to me while still practicing my piecing.

The block for this month is a star within a star, which I think is called a Rising Star.  It is to be done with white and brights. There has been a little bit of reverse sewing - its now done and is pretty much the correct size.